Most importantly, funding for Ventura County roads and highway projects is so important because it plays a role in saving lives. As the Ventura County Star pointed out in 2018, a location where a notably fatal accident occurred had been a proposed site for a bridge since the 1990s. For decades, the money for its construction was never there until SB 1.
Of the 158 bridges within Ventura County, the need for the Rice Avenue Bridge is arguably the highest profile of all infrastructure projects in the County. “This project will eliminate the conflict between vehicles and trains at the rail-highway crossing and will address future traffic and circulation issues forecast for the area,” said Marc Bischoff, a public information officer for the California Department of Transportation. “This is an excellent example of the state of California directing SB 1 funds to necessary projects that will improve safety on both state and municipal routes.”
In 2018, David Fleisch, Ventura County Transportation Director, advised the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to consider replacing or rehabilitating more than 60 bridges that exceed 75 years of age in the next 10 to 20 years. “That doesn’t in and of itself mean there is a problem with them, but if we don’t look at a deliberate replacement program, we may be looking at failure down the road,” Fleisch said.
There are a number of other construction projects that address bridge infrastructure issues in Ventura County, including: